ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.
Today’s guest blogger is cute and cuddly Taylor Johnson. If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click or place you ‘paw’ here.
I was the new dog on the block when I moved to downtown Birmingham with my humans in the fall of 2010.
I was used to a back yard and had never seen the big city before. I had no idea how to be a city dog or exactly what there was to do in the city.
I was worried…
My humans told me everything would be ok and that it would be an adventure.
So, I crossed my paws, packed up my food bowl and headed down to live in the old Hunter Furniture Store on 18th Street North downtown.
My humans converted that building into a cool place for us to live and for dogs, like me, who need a place to play during the day and stay overnight when their families are out of town or work late.
On my first walk in the city, we wandered all over town and watched bulldozers pushing dirt in a place they now call Railroad Park.
There were very few people on the street and few scents of other dogs. I was afraid I would be lonely.
However, after my humans opened their new dog day care business I soon started to make new friends.
What I love most about my new home is the playground on the roof! In the summertime, we have shade cloth and pools to play in. Some days we get the bubble machine out and play with bacon flavored bubbles. We get to watch the trains come and go from the rooftop and wonder what far off places they are traveling to, especially the people on the Amtrak Train.
From the roof, we’ve watched the new train and bus station being built. In every direction from our roof there is something under construction!
There is a cool place called “The Pizitz” across the street from my place that includes a food hall and humans are now moving into The Pizitz apartments. I already have new friends from there coming to play with me. I also have friends coming from the new Jefferson Towers Building!
Bow WOW! I now have friends everywhere!
I love to walk to places like Paramount and sit outside on a pretty night while my humans grab a wonderful smelling hamburger. The nice guys there even put out a water bowl for us four-legged folks!
Sometimes I hear my humans talk about their favorite restaurant, Bistro 218 and who they are meeting there for dinner before they go to see a show at the Lyric or Alabama Theaters.
I also hear them talking about the Downtown Social Club and all the nice people who live downtown in lofts and apartments and who get together for potluck dinners and other fun events.
Sometimes we will go to an outdoor concert at Railroad Park or walk to Good People Brewery (they let us dogs in) and then we will pick up a pizza at the new Pies and Pints restaurant and stroll through the new Rotary Trail Park and eat our pizza at one of the park tables.
We love to ride bikes too…I have my own special cart that I ride behind my humans in. They do all the work…I just wag and smile!
Some of my favorite sounds are the skateboarders when they click-clack down the street. I sure wish they had a place they could call their own like other big cities! Skateboarders are cool!
I love the sound of the church bells and the toot of the train horns.
I don’t like the fire engine sirens…they hurt my ears and my friends and I all howl when they go by.
My parents and I sit on the roof sometimes at night and listen to the beautiful music coming from Plum, the Jazz bar behind us.
So many things have changed in the six years I’ve been a city dog!
There are many more dogs downtown now.
I have noticed that many of the new people are young! I like young people…they have much more energy and they seem to really love dogs! They are always petting me and saying how cute I am!
My humans now have many more places to eat on the weekends like Bamboo, El Barrio, Rogue Tavern, Sol’s Deli (good gumbo), Carrigan’s Public House, Taziki’s, Pita Loco, Trattoria Central, Green Acres, John’s City Diner, Café Dupont, Glory Bound, Roots and Revelry in the newly restored Thomas Jefferson Tower, and they all smell delicious. I hear there are more to come.
Just recently, my mom went to a new grocery store called Publix and was SO happy! She brought me a treat from there and said she is excited that she can now walk to the grocery store!
Everything my humans and I need is downtown…my family even goes to the dentist on Morris Avenue! They love Dr. Jeffrey Gilbert and can walk to his office.
We live in an area called the CAP Zone which stands for Community Action Partnership. We have some really nice men and women that ride their bikes on patrol all around the CAP Zone and they come to see us. We especially love our friend Glen. CAP helps the police keep us safe and our city clean.
If I could have just one wish it would be that all the dog owner’s downtown would be very respectful of our city and pick up after their dogs. My humans give out free poop bags at their business for anyone who lives around us and to all our customers.
They forced me to move downtown! But now I love it!
Here is a big tail wag to all of the other city dogs who have the sense of adventure to live, work and/or play in downtown Birmingham!
Taylor’s proud humans are Jimmy and Sue Johnson. Jimmy and Sue own Dog Days of Birmingham and thoroughly enjoy working and living downtown. Please feel free to come by and say hello to Taylor, his humans, and his many four-legged friends.
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David Sher is Co-Founder of AmSher Compassionate Collections. He’s past Chairman of the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce (BBA), Operation New Birmingham (REV Birmingham), and the City Action Partnership (CAP).
Invite David to speak to your group about a better Birmingham. firstname.lastname@example.org.